ROH 166 – Glory By Honor 6 Night 1 – 2nd November 2007
Glory By Honor is ROH’s longest-running annual “name” event, with the first GBH show taking place all the way back in 2002. This year we have a two-night stand featuring four talents from NOAH as well all your favourite ROH stars. Taking top billing is the ROH debut of puroresu legend Mitsuharu Misawa. He is the current GHC Heavyweight Champion and arguably the greatest wrestler of the 90’s. These days he’s almost totally over the hill but that doesn’t mean this trip to the US isn’t a huge deal. He’s joined by Marufuji, KENTA and former ROH Champion Takeshi Morishima in a tag team main event tonight that will supposedly be of ‘Budokan Hall quality’. On the undercard we’ve got the finale of the Danielson/Aries Best Of 3 Series, the Briscoes defending the Tag Titles against the No Remorse Corps, and there’s lots more as well. We’re in Philadelphia, PA, the same city where the first Glory By Honor took place. Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard will call the action.
ROH VIDEO WIRE (12/10/07) – See Survival Of The Fittest 2007 (ROH164) for details.
Rebecca Bayless reveals that Nigel McGuinness can’t wrestle this weekend due to a torn bicep. He is here though, so she gets an interview with him. He tore it from throwing too many lariats which isn’t a huge shock. He’s opted not to have surgery on it and is going to rehab for a month. Unfortunately that means missing these huge shows with Misawa on, which is a huge disappointment for him.
Jimmy Jacobs with even more girly eye make-up than usual and the rest of the Age Of The Fall are strolling around in Philadelphia. I think this skit is supposed to provide an insight into their ideology. They spout off a load of vague, clichéd statements that don’t actually mean anything.
Brent Albright/BJ Whitmer vs Kevin Steen/El Generico
The issue between these two teams came about at Undeniable. Adam Pearce tried to recruit Kevin Steen for the Hangmen 3, and had Albright and Whitmer drag Generico from the back for Steen to beat up. Mr Wrestling sided with his tag partner rather than aligning with the Hangm3n.
The Hangm3n don’t even let Generico get his cape off before starting the match. They brawl around ringside before coming back to the ring where Generico leapfrogs over Albright into a dropkick on BJ. Steen is SO over in Philadelphia. Generico tries to run the ropes into a tornado DDT but Whitmer pulls the RVD/Jerry Lynn northern lights suplex counter into the turnbuckles. 61-Knee by Albright, into a German suplex by Whitmer for 2. Steen gets the tag but BJ fights away from a Package Piledriver attempt. Belly to belly suplex by the Shooter and Whitmer follows it up with a frog splash. Generico saves his partner by nailing the rope-run tornado DDT. Steen then gets 2 with a cradlebreaker. Yakuza kick nailed by Generico, then the STEEN-TON BOMB! Mr Wrestling pins Whitmer. Unfortunately I didn’t hear an opening bell so I don’t have a match-time. It was something like 9 minutes.
Rating – ** – Nothing memorable but it was solid enough as an opening match. Feuding with the Hangm3n seems like quite a step backwards for Steen and Generico after their crazy battles with the Briscoes, but hopefully it will do something to elevate Pearce’s crew.
Shane Hagadorn runs in to throw powder into Steen and Generico’s eyes. Albright and Whitmer drop them on their heads because they’re big, mean heels. They then go backstage to cut a promo. Steen-erico are warned to stay out of their business, and they’ve got their sights set on Delirious next.
Hallowicked vs Claudio Castagnoli
This is a rematch from the opening round of the Race To The Top Tournament. Claudio won that match with the Riccola Bomb and went on to win the whole tournament. Hallowicked will be looking to even the score from that defeat and earn himself a few more ROH bookings.
The opening is pretty slow but things liven up with a few lively, lucha-inspired exchanges. Hallowicked gets 2 after a hurricanrana then a climbing kick to the head in the corner. The masked man stays in control for a couple more minutes, which totally deflates the crowd since he’s a jobber. Eventually Castagnoli comes back with a bicycle kick, the crab-walk elbow then a Giant Swing for 2. Running European uppercut countered into a Rydien Bomb by Wicked. Double C counters something into a tilta-whirl slam and picks up the win with a European uppercut at 05:55.
Rating – * – Their first match was a lot better. Considering how short this match was Hallowicked was in control for way too long. It didn’t make him look good since the ease with which Castagnoli beat him cements his status as a jobber anyway. His spell in control just served to kill the crowd. I thought this might be good since Claudio is great with smaller guys and has obviously worked with the Chikara crew a lot (he had a fun little match with Jigsaw at the last ppv taping). Instead it was total filler.
Larry Sweeney comes out to interrupt Claudio’s celebrations. He tries to buy out Castagnoli’s contract and sell him onto the WWE just like he did with Matt Sydal. Claudio refuses because he loves ROH.
Davey Richards vs Delirious
Wasn’t the feud between the No Remorse Corps and Delirious over? I thought it ended when Delirious finally beat Strong in Tokyo, and was then part of the 8-man Street Fight that main evented the second night of Death Before Dishonor 5 weekend.
Apparently Delirious is trying to tie up a loose end with this match since he never got any revenge against Richards during the feud. Both guys look for their trademark submission finishers in the early going. Delirious blocks a kick by biting Davey’s leg and uses that to assume the offensive advantage. Richards comes back with an STO and takes it to the floor to do some damage with the guardrails. The crowd is totally dead for this one. Davey controls the match but spends most of his time desperately trying to whip up some enthusiasm from the fans. He blocks the Never Ending Story with a nasty headbutt and grounds Delirious again with a cross armbreaker. Hammerlock northern lights suplex scores, followed by a bridging hammerlock as Richards starts to work the arm in earnest. Panic Attack by Delirious but he’s too worn down to capitalise right away. He hits some of the usual Delirious comeback spots but Richards escapes the Cobra Stretch again. Sydal Driver nailed instead for 2. Davey goes after the arm again then hits the Benoit chop/headbutt flurry in the corner. Beautiful German suplex only gets 2 so he goes for the Kimura. Delirious gets a foot on the ropes. He blocks Davey’s handspring enzi with a torpedo headbutt and scores with the Cobra Clutch suplex. Cobra Stretch applied but Davey rolls over into a pinfall for 2. Shadows Over Hell blocked with a kick. Tombstone into the Kimura again. Delirious taps at 13:31.
Rating – ** – That felt way too long. Granted it got better as it went along but the first five minutes were so very dull. It put the crowd to sleep and they never really regained any sort of crowd heat. Once Davey started working the arm it became watchable though, and at least the right man went over.
The Age Of The Fall continue their ramblings across Philadelphia. They complain about big name supermarkets like Walmart or IKEA. Again, lots of clichés and buzz-words, but no substance at all. They sound like 13 year olds who have been to a couple of politics classes and now fancy themselves as political activists.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Roderick Strong/Rocky Romero – ROH Tag Title Match
I’m not quire sure why the No Remorse Corps line-up is the Strong/Romero combo tonight. I thought Briscoes vs Richards/Romero from Undeniable was really decent and deserved a rematch (although technically it was taped at Reckless Abandon at the end of November). Besides, Davey and Rocky really looked like they were gelling as a team during their two matches at Chaos At The Cow Palace.
Mark starts and looks a lot more recovered from his foot injury than he did during the West Coast tour. Five minutes in and nobody has really established an advantage yet. It’s solid back and forth tag team action though. The Briscoes unite to hit a tandem boot-strike to Strong in the corner, opening the door for the defending champions to cut the ring in half and isolate an opponent. Romero gets a tag and, for the second time in the match, engages in a hard-hitting strike duel with Jay. Dave Prazak makes the point that these guys have been going for almost ten minutes with neither team able to establish a clear advantage. Mark breaks out the redneck kung fu then a moonsault press to both opponents. Romero cuts him off with a high knee strike. Strong hangs Mark in a tree of woe from an Argentine backbreaker position, then LEAPFROGS Romero into a flying dropkick. More offence from the NRC but Mark fires back with an urinage suplex on Roderick and gets the hot tag. Jay levels Romero with a superkick then walks into a BRUTAL chop from Strong. DVD on the FIP Champion gets 2. Tilta-whirl DDT by Romero, then a running knee strike to the face for 2. Press slam DVD variant lays out Romero, and Mark drops Strong down on top of him with the springboard Ace crusher. Roderick recovers in time to block the springboard Doomsday Device. Romero puts an anklelock on Jay who has to man up and find a rope. Death By Roderick scores but Mark has Romero captured in the corner. He walks Rocky into a splash mountain neckbreaker. Strong and Mark fight over their finishers without success so Mark hits a moonsault instead. Springboard Doomsday Device finishes at 17:58.
Rating – *** – Much more grounded than the usual Briscoe title defence. It was a refreshing change of pace for them, but I think this was the wrong crowd to try it in front of. A classic Briscoe spot-filled sprint of a match would’ve been just the thing to wake this quiet crowd up. Instead, they got a patient, evenly-matched affair. Even when the pace did pick up down the stretch it was still totally even, with one team landing a few high impact moves, then somehow the opposition would turn it round and drop a few bombs of their own. Overall I’d say it was decent but underwhelming.
Instead of the Briscoes’ music, screaming hits the PA, heralding the arrival of the Age Of The Fall. They hop the guardrail and get straight into a brawl with Jay and Mark. Strong and Romero get in their faces (the AOTF and NRC had an altercation in San Francisco), which brings the Vulture Squad out. They’ve had issues with those two factions as well.
Jimmy Jacobs/Tyler Black/Necro Butcher vs Jack Evans/Ruckus/Jigsaw – Scramble Match
These two factions opened up the last pay-per-view, where Jacobs and Black went over Jack and Ruckus. The Vultures want to be a force in faction warfare so they’ll be looking to avenge that defeat.
Ruckus back flips into a rana on Black as the Briscoes and the NRC eliminate themselves by brawling to the back. Shooting Star Press off the apron by the Chocolate Vulture. Necro storms the ring and has no problems getting rid of Ruckus and Jigsaw. Evans strings a few kicks together before getting punched out. Jigsaw uses some Chikara lucha on Jacobs but can’t put him away. Handspring elbow by Ruckus then a rolling fisherman suplex/powerbomb combo. Double basement dropkick by Black and Jacobs stops Choco-Vulture’s momentum. Evans tries the 630 but there’s nobody home so he lands on his feet. Necro grabs him for a backbreaker. Jigsaw SUPERKICKS Necro in awesome fashion. Swinging neckbreaker from Ruckus to Tyler but Necro knocks him off the top rope with a chair. Jimmy blocks the Jig’n’Tonic and Tyler picks up the masked Vulture. Big boot/inverted DVD combo, then Jimmy slaps on the End Time and Jigsaw taps at 06:28.
Rating – ** – It was short but really fun whilst it lasted. I’d like to see a longer match between these two factions. Tyler easily has the athleticism to hang with the high-fliers and it was great to watch the way Necro dealt with three men who are such different wrestlers to him. I’m quite enjoying the Vulture Squad at the moment. None of them are amazing singles wrestlers (well, Jigsaw isn’t bad, but he’s not over by himself so) but they’re entertaining as a trio. It is hard to believe they’re a credible threat to serious heel teams like the NRC or AOTF though.
Now the real fun begins and it’s time for some FACTION WARFARE. The Briscoes re-emerge to have another ruck with Jimmy’s crew, and they’re followed by all three members of the NRC. Lacey gets on the mic and kindly informs the fans that ‘all of your mothers are whores’. That’s nice. Daizee Haze and shuts her up with a Mind Trip/Yakuza kick combo. Will that feud ever end? Speaking of feuds that just won’t end, Delirious runs out to get his hands on the NRC. That, of course, brings the Hangm3n since they hate the lizard man, and then come Kevin Steen and El Generico who have heat with those guys. Time for some crazy dives. SHADOWS OVER HELL TO THE FLOOR by Delirious. RUNNING MOONSAULT BY BLACK! TOP ROPE PLANCHA BY DAIZEE! SOMERSAULT PLANCHA BY NECRO! RUNNING SOMERSAULT PLANCHA BY JAY! Strong and Richards hoist Romero into a plancha to the floor. CORKSCREW PESCADO from Strong. THREE-WAY DIVES FROM THE VULTURE SQUAD! The Vultures then bring guys into the ring for more high-flying by Evans and Ruckus, and it’s that group that stands tall as the chaos relents. That segment was SO much fun. Unfortunately it was the only real time faction warfare ever got interesting.
INTERMISSION – The Briscoes interrupt Becky Bayless to tell the Age Of The Fall that they can have a Tag Title match tomorrow night. Daizee Haze says she’ll make sure Lacey doesn’t get involved.
Mitch Franklin vs Ernie Osiris – Top Of The Class Trophy Match
Why isn’t this on the pre-show? I thought that was the whole point of the trophy. I’m fine with TOTC matches making it onto the show when they work into feuds (like Primeau/Hagadorn from a while ago) but is there any heat behind this? On the bright side, Ernie looks much more like a wrestler than most of the ROH Academy graduates. Mitch has held the Trophy since Caged Rage in August.
Solid but unspectacular wrestling from the bell, nothing unexpected from a usual student match. Osiris hits a nice flipping kick in the corner then a flapjack. He gets 2 with a twisting brainbuster. Franklin gets a nearfall with a gutwrench suplex. He then botches his headscissors into the corner spot. Ocean cyclone suplex by Osiris then a Red Star Press to the back. Osiris wins at 02:57.
Rating – * – Normal student match really, so it was fine for the popcorn spot. Both looked ok given their limited experience, although Franklin did blow his only big spot in the match. It’s the first time I’ve really seen Osiris but he looked decent. He has more size than Pelle or Mitch and looks fairly athletic with it so I’m interested in seeing how his career progresses. ROH really needs more students in the mould of him and Rhett Titus as opposed to midgets or fatties.
Austin Aries vs Bryan Danielson – Best Of 3 Series Match 3
This is the conclusion to what has been a fun little trilogy. Aries won the first match at Honor Nation using his new Horns Of Aries hold. Danielson responded with an aggressive and tenacious performance to even the score at 1-1 in San Francisco. The winner here can call themselves the ‘ace’ of Ring Of Honor and secures themselves a World Title shot.
For the first time tonight the crowd seems legitimately into a match with a decent amount of chanting from the bell. Aries wrenches the neck with an early headscissors which obviously softens Danielson up for the Horns Of Aries. Danielson refuses to give Double A a clean break in the corner and hammers him with European uppercuts. Aries goes for a springboard reverse elbow and almost gets caught in the Crossface Chickenwing. He lines up the Heat Seeking Missile but Dragon counters that with a through-the-ropes knee strike. Nice familiarity countering there and Danielson claws at Austin’s nostrils to get an advantage, showing the same aggressive streak that we saw in the Cow Palace. Neckbreaker nailed on Aries after he attempted the knee strikes that act as set-up for the Horns. He goes for the Mexican surfboard but Aries blocks that so once again he just tugs on the nose. Half crab then a Regal Stretch applied as Danielson continues to press home his advantage. Again Aries looks to have a trademark American Dragon move (this time the back superplex) scouted so Danielson drags him down into the tree of woe and repeatedly kicks him in the chest. Aries finally does hit back with the Stroke into a Power Drive Elbow for 2. Heat Seeking Missile nailed second time of asking. He looks for the quebrada but Danielson has seen it before and gets knees up. Triangle Choke locked in but Austin rolls into the ropes. Airplane spin COUNTERED into the shinbreak suplex. Dragon hasn’t used the Airplane spin in ages and was clearly changing his game to throw Aries off. The former GeNext leader looks for his corner dropkick but gets met with a boot to the face. ROARING ELBOW DUEL…and both men go down. Danielson goes for Cattle Mutilation but Aries fights out. MMA ELBOWS but still Austin rolls through the Cow Killer into a pin for 2. KICK OF DEATH! BRAINBUSTER BLOCKED, DDT INSTEAD! HORNS OF ARIES! Danielson vowed not to lose to that move again and counters to the SMALL PACKAGE FOR 2! ARIES BRAINBUSTER! 450 SPLASH! Aries wins the series 2-1 at 17:18, and is now #1 contender for the ROH Title.
Rating – **** – For the third time in recent shows, those guys went out and put on a clinic. I’m coming out of their series a little disappointed that they never really fully cut loose and delivered an MOTYC that we know they’re capable of, but it was a very high quality series of bouts that I fully enjoyed. This one was a nice way to end it too, bringing in lots of little storylines from the first two and rounding them off intelligently. Lots of familiarity countering since they know each other so well. Aries won the first match with his new submission finisher so spent most of the time working towards that hold, whilst Danielson won the second with an aggressive approach and repeatedly cut off Aries’ comebacks with a sneaky little cheap shot, a rake to the nose or a quick burst of strikes. The last couple of minutes where they countered finishers back and forth were a terrific pay-off.
More from the Age Of The Fall’s road trip across Philadelphia, Jimmy Jacobs complains about cookie-cutter housing developments, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. None of this has ANYTHING to do with wrestling, and the supposedly “beautiful” houses that Jimmy praises look every bit as cookie-cutter as the ones he’s complaining about.
It’s supposed to be time for the main event but Sweet’n’Sour Inc. interrupt Bobby Cruise as he tries to go over the introduction. I’m liking Chris Hero and Bobby Dempsey’s (who has a hilariously awful hair style tonight) matching Survivor Of The Fittest/Fattest t-shirts. Larry Sweeney points out that Hero’s contract as Survival Of The Fittest 2007 winner states that he gets his ROH World Title shot whenever he wants – and he wants it now. If Nigel McGuinness can’t defend it he should forfeit it tonight. That brings the injured World Champion to the ring, and he basically whines and sulks on the microphone. Philadelphia, a market which has always been very pro-Hero, really isn’t into his b*tching. Sticking to his contract, Sweeney demands Nigel forfeit, and has Hero decimate Bobby Dempsey’s arm to show what he’ll do if Nigel wrestles. Eventually Nigel gets so pissed off that he agrees to defend the belt, even though he’s going to have to fight with one arm.
Nigel McGuinness vs Chris Hero – ROH World Title Match
We know that these two men have had issues with each other since All Star Extravaganza 3. With Nigel now holding the World Title it was only obvious that Larry Sweeney would lead his main client back into battle with him. As with previous years, the winner of Survival Of The Fittest has been rewarded with a title shot. It should be noted, however, that none of the previous winners (Danielson, Strong and Delirious) won their ensuing championship match. Even Danielson, the only past winner to go on to hold the ROH Title had to wait another year before finally getting his hands on the belt.
Nigel is fighting in street clothes since he obviously wasn’t prepared to wrestle tonight. The crowd is split 50/50 proving that a) Philadelphia loves Hero and b) Nigel whining and b*tching like a small child isn’t what you want your champion to do. Since he’s fighting a one-armed man, it doesn’t take long for Chris to take control. After minutes of Hero dominance Nigel manages to hit his kick/chest lariat combo but has to switch arm to execute the combo. That provokes Hero to wrench the injured arm hard, leaving McGuinness on the mat again. He tries more one-armed offence, culminating with a McLariat for 2. Prazak points out that Nigel’s dangerous left arm is the one that’s injured, so all these right handed strikes don’t have the same impact. Sweeney distracts the champion, allowing Hero to boot him injured-arm first into the guardrail. Back inside he locks on a version of Nigel’s old “that arm submission” but Nigel gets his foot on the ropes. The ref doesn’t see that, so McGuinness taps out at 07:26. Hero thinks he won the belt, but the referee quickly realised his mistake and declares that the match must continue. TOWER OF LONDON OFF THE APRON! Nigel is absolutely furious now, and looks for some revenge by repeatedly smashing Hero’s arm into the rails. MCLARIAT! LONDON DUNGEON! Hero taps so McGuinness retains at 09:04.
Rating – *** – I’ve seen some lousy reviews for this segment but I thought it was pretty dramatic. Considering Nigel wasn’t even scheduled to wrestle on the show, getting this match thrown in as a bonus is pretty good. I liked the dynamic of Hero acting like a total prick and having fun beating up an injured opponent, and the final few minutes were really exciting – to the extent that even my wrestling-hating girlfriend stopped in to watch. Obviously this wasn’t the technical brilliance of American Dragon, but it was good story-telling and a welcome addition to the show. I think the whole thing would’ve worked better had the crowd been more in Nigel’s favour. I thought his pre-match whining killed any chance of getting himself over in Philly for a match with Hero. Truth, lots of people popped when they thought Hero had won the belt. They give Nigel a warm reception post-match though.
Backstage Larry Sweeney threatens to sue the referee for screwing Hero out of the match. Hero promises he’ll be coming back for more of Nigel McGuinness. Hero (with or without Sweeney) has the charisma to carry the promotion as World Champion should he ever need to. I think that may actually count against him though. Gabe has always been a guy who works on the logic that guys who are over without the belt don’t need it, so he might as well use the title to elevate other guys. He’s used it with varying degrees of success with Xavier, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries and arguably Nigel McGuinness too.
Takeshi Morishima/Naomichi Marufuji vs Mitsuharu Misawa/KENTA
When Misawa was announced for an ROH tour, we were promised NOAH-style main event calibre matches. Throwing these four in one match together certainly has a lot of potential to deliver. There are a lot of interesting little stories between them. Takeshi Morishima and Misawa have a bit of a rivalry going after a couple of really competitive singles matches – probably Misawa’s best matches of recent times, since he’s miles past his prime now. Mori and KENTA have also had some heated bouts this year, including one for the ROH Championship in March. Anybody that knows anything about NOAH knows the history between Marufuji and KENTA. They’ve put on countless classics both as partners and opponents. This is the first time they’ll oppose each other in an ROH ring though. And it was Misawa that ended Marufuji’s GHC Heavyweight Championship reign. Add in that Misawa’s partner tonight challenges him for NOAH’s top prize tomorrow night and you’ve got a whole host of different things going on. Don’t expect Misawa to be anything close to his best here. He barely breaks out of house show mode at all these days (even for big NOAH matches), so you can expect an element of autopilot from him in this tag match in a foreign independent promotion. But it doesn’t matter how if he’s only going through the motions, hearing his famous music and seeing him in an ROH ring is an incredible sight. The guy remains an absolute legend in pro-wrestling.
Marufuji and Kenta start in awesome fashion, with one of their brilliant little flurries of offensive evasion and countering. Mori tags in and immediately demands Misawa, who knocks him out of the ring with his big elbow smashes. He then slows things right down with a chinlock. Kenta in with a burst of big kicks then chinlocks too. The match really slows with all four men using a lot of rest holds as the time ticks by. The pace only really picks up whenever Kenta and Marufuji get together. It’s Misawa and Kenta that gain an advantage by isolating Maru, but he finally makes the inevitable tag to the former ROH Champion. Morishima gets 2 on Misawa after the cartwheel avalanche then his huge missile dropkick. Kenta takes him down with a big boot to the face. We’re at 15-minutes and I’ve written less than ten lines of play-by-play, which is an indication of how slow this has been. Mori and Maru take Kenta out of the ring to deliver some offence out there. That puts their team on offence and yet again the pace drops off as they use copious amount of submission holds to wear an opponent down. Kenta finally gets the hot tag but Mori hasn’t been worn down enough for Misawa to hit the Tiger Driver. Running butt attack by Shima puts Misawa on the canvas. Marufuji lines up the Shiranui but it’s blocked with a double underhook suplex. Kenta drops him with a fisherman buster then body slams Morishima on top of him. He then accidentally boots Misawa in the face and winds up alone in the ring with both his opponents. Morishima sits down on his chest as he tries an ill-advised German suplex. He still blocks Maru’s powerbomb and ducks a couple of kicks to nail a Tiger suplex for 2. Busaiku knee gets 2 but Marufuji escapes Go 2 Sleep and hits the Shiranui. Tiger Driver by Misawa. BACK DROP DRIVER BY MORISHIMA! Kenta takes Mori out with another Busaiku knee so all four are down. Three minutes left in the time limit as Maru and Kenta trade kicks. LOW SUPERKICK gets Marufuji a 2-count. Shiranui COUNTERED to Go 2 Sleep but he’s too close to the ropes for Kenta to pin. 1 minute left with Maru and Kenta desperately trading pinfall attempts. Misawa and Morishima in with 30 seconds to go…but the time limit expires so we have a 30:00 draw.
Rating – *** – We were promised ‘Budokan Hall quality main events’, but that wasn’t the case. This was (I imagine) a typical NOAH tour/house show match. It wasn’t bad because these are four high quality wrestlers. Watching them wrestle for half an hour wasn’t a bad experience, but we all know that they’ve all got a lot more in the tank that they held back. The first twenty minutes really dragged by and it was only in the final ten that things started to happen. What was up with that finish though? It wasn’t even like Misawa and Mori were in the middle of a spot that they didn’t quite time. They were just randomly wrestling when the time ran out. The majority of the highlights came from KENTA and Marufuji wrestling each other and I’d like to see those two have a match in ROH, but I don’t imagine NOAH will waste an instalment of one of their highest-profile rivalries in the US. Overall I’d say it’s worth a look for the sheer spectacle of four big name puro stars going 30 minutes on US soil, but the match was nowhere near as good as it could’ve been. I don’t see why we needed a draw either. They’re all NOAH guys, surely one could’ve done a job?
Jimmy Jacobs complains that it isn’t free to see the Liberty Bell, one of the most enduring signs of America’s freedom. The Age Of The Fall is all about freedom and will give it to anyone that wants to do a little thinking and join their revolution. I’m sorry but I’ve really hated these segments tonight. They’ve made the group look like total tools. Using a bunch of big words and pseudo-political phrases doesn’t make them smart or revolutionary. There’s no substance behind ANYTHING they’ve said or how it relates to their purpose in ROH. I suppose their complaint about the Liberty Bell not being free was a fair point, but besides that…
Tape Rating – ** – Another somewhat disappointing addition to the Glory By Honor legacy. The card had a fair amount of promise with a lot of talent, but a lot of it fell flat. The Briscoes/NRC tag was solid but no better. The same can be said for the NOAH main event, except it was far longer and therefore tougher to sit through. Sure the Danielson/Aries match was predictably good, but they’ve had better matches on better shows. And aside from that one, the only truly memorable moments were all the midcard guys brawling before intermission and a Hero/McGuinness segment that very few people seem to have liked as much as I did. Much of the undercard is skippable, with match quality ranging from forgettable to downright poor. If you want to have every Danielson/Aries match, or you want the historical significance of Misawa’s ROH debut then this is a decent DVD to pick up, but it’s hard to recommend it enthusiastically when there are so many better shows out there.
Top 3 Matches
3) Mitsuharu Misawa/KENTA vs Takeshi Morishima/Naomichi Marufuji (***)
2) Nigel McGuinness vs Chris Hero (***)
1) Austin Aries vs Bryan Danielson (****)